What's it about?
This is the candid story of legendary songwriter Carole King's rise to fame. We get to see her start as part of a songwriting duo with her then husband Gerry Goffin, and how their tumultuous relationship inspired her to branch out into the music industry on her own.
Melissa Benoist aka Supergirl is the only reason I wanted to see this show - again. And by again, I mean I had seen Beautiful back in 2016 when I was part of Open Doors in my senior year of high school. This was the first time I had ever seen a show twice. Well, except for The Lion King.
I was full on ready to pay for the overpriced ticket to get a decent seat in the mezzanine or orchestra section, but then in an impulsive decision, I had entered the lottery for the show and I won a $42 ticket instead for the mezzanine.
At the beginning of the show, Carole tells the audience at Carnegie Hall that she never planned on being a singer. She just let life take its course.
"Sometimes it goes the way you want and sometimes it doesn’t. And sometimes when it doesn’t, you find something beautiful."
That quote stuck with me. I hadn't remembered it from the first time I saw the show. I guess it's because it had more relevance to me now than it did before. I didn't know about TDF or Open Doors until I sat in my fall Women's Literature class my senior year of H.S. and my teacher Mr. Jones told the class about it. He was going to interview students within the first few weeks of school, and at first, I didn't really think much about it. He kept announcing it every class as a reminder and I kept putting it in the back of my head. It wasn't until the week of the deadline that I realized I needed extracurricular activities to show off to colleges that I applied (I needed two recommendations, and bless my Spanish teacher Ms. Martingano she wrote a whole page about me in prose and handed it to me in an envelope when all I needed was a paragraph in such a short amount of time.) I honestly didn't think I'd get in, until I got the email and so opened the door to a much more enhanced, creative life. I honestly don't think I would have continued with music after high school if it weren't for Open Doors and even PXP. I wouldn't have PXP if it weren't for Open Doors. Seeing shows sparks the creative juices in my brain and I gain so many ideas for new songs.
Back when I saw the show in 2016, I came to appreciate the songwriting process. It was always something I wanted to do, but I always wanted to write more than a four chord progression. In a way, I related to Gerry, Carole's husband in the show. I wanted to capture music at its best. It takes me a long time before I commit to writing the actual music of a song because I want to learn as much music theory as I can, but in a way this perfectionist attitude hinders me. Carole just writes the music as it comes to her. She doesn't care if its the greatest masterpiece in the world and if it can be considered a teeny-bopper-song which Gerry hates. I've actually looked at the sheet music to some of Carole's music and there's so much going on. The songs don't really have the typical chords and shit. And to be fair, there isn't anything wrong with using basic chords, it's just rare.
Whenever anybody said "teeny-bopper", it was used condescendingly, and it in all honesty stuck out as sexist to me as the target audience are teenage girls. It's as if a girl's opinion and taste in music is societal and universally wrong. So what if a girl likes One Direction, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Ed Sheeran, Britney Spears, etc., they can still kick ass, score higher on you on a test, and be the CEO of a company. I know I have that potential even though I listen to some of the 'teeny-bopper' artists and will probably be making songs like that.
Thanks Melissa for being in the show and letting me be inspired by Carole once again. I would have told you in person, but you didn't wanna come out to the stage door, jk, LUV U.
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